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What is Gardening to you?

What is gardening to you? Is it something only the silver tops do when they’re too old to enjoy anything else? Are raised garden beds purely for the elderly so they don’t have to bed over so far!? Is it a pastime more suited to dreadlocked hippies living at one with the planet?

Living in houses made out of straw and cow manure, growing fruit and veg organically with the help of their little composting worm farm helpers. Is it something a lot of people talk about be never seem to get involved in? “I live in an apartment”, “I don’t have a garden”, “I don’t have time”. To me gardening is NOT what I always thought it was. My first memories of “gardening” were as a child watching my dad rake up Jacaranda flowers 3-4 times A DAY when it rains a steady stream of mauve through the months of late Spring/early summer. To me that was gardening. It didn’t look fun at all. Then I saw how we as a family could produce our own vegetables! Pretty impressive to see as a 5 year old. Watching a patch of dirt with nothing but strange smells and worms in it become a miniature forest of different shades of green. Then all of a sudden an explosion of colours and flavours. Tomatoes ripening, carrots being plucked from nowhere, snow pea flowers then becoming actual snow peas! All of these phenomenon’s occurring just weeks after placing little seeds in the ground. Nature huh!


Gardening to me……

Gardening to me has become more than just the production of herbs, fruit and vegetables. The role’s a garden can perform are endless and are different for everyone. The use of different plants and materials in different situations can transform a space. This is where creativity and design come into play. This is where we can all create our own gardens, large or small, to achieve so many different things. What do you need in a garden? Production of herbs for cooking, privacy, a tropical hideaway, a splash of colour or texture perhaps? Have a think about what you want out of a garden before you do anything. So many people want a garden but do not know where to start. Once you know WHAT you want out of a garden and WHY, you get the start to look at the HOW.

For me, I want my garden indirectly divided into areas or spaces. An area to escape and relax morphing into an area to entertain. An area to produce fruit and veg and importantly, an area to play with my dog! Incorporating plants, materials and shapes into these spaces are of to great importance and to have them work for me to achieve the desired result. Without literally having signs indicating ‘Rest Area’ or “Entertaining HERE!’, the challenge is to create the natural urge to relax in a chill out space or feel welcomed and comfortable in an entertaining space. Plants have an amazing ability to quickly set a mood for a space. The best example is using palms and tropical plantings to instantly create a feeling of sun, warmth, holidays, relaxing by the pool. Total relaxation. The passion in gardening for me is to design spaces for others so that they too can reap the benefits of enjoying time in their garden and ensure their garden is ‘working’ for them.


Options are endless!

Gardening today is not what is used to be. Today we are growing plants on just about anything. Vertical walls, Rooftop gardens, Hanging gardens. Gardening has reached new levels and will continue to do so for years to come. It is a great time to adventure into the world of gardening because it is not what you think it is. Studies are showing the benefits of being around plants not just in your garden but at you place of work as well are surprisingly substantial. Get involved in gardening any way you can, its worth it.





Written by Nick Mason

Residential Design